Posted by Dan
I’m gonna do this Steve style, which means one thing: bullet points.
- Is there anything more overrated in baseball than hitting for the cycle? I mean, it’s a nice, interesting accomplishment, but come on. My main problem with it, is that if Fielder goes 4-4 tomorrow with 2 HR, a double and a single, it will get merely a passing mention between the Red Sox and Yankees highlights. Make one of those HR a triple, and its breaking news/history. It’s also a less productive stat line. Billy Ripken, on the MLB Network today was talking about it and said two things that seemed ridonkulous. First, he claimed “late in the game, it’s like a no-hitter. It’s all you’re thinking about.” Then, speaking of Orlando Hudson (who completed his cycle with a 6th inning triple) said, “As soon as he hit it he knew he was going for a triple. If he gets thrown out, oh well, he gets thrown out.” That seems absurd. Granted it was a huge Dodger lead at the time, but I’d like to think no MLB player would think like that.
- Despite the fact that seven games is a meaningless sample size, I’ll quickly highlight a few good things: First, Corey Hart has a 5BB:8K ratio through his first 26 ABs. Last year he only walked 27 times in 612 ABs, which is Michael Bourn-esque. The Brewers offense cannot afford to have someone compile 600+ ABs with a .300 OBP in front of Braun and Fielder this season. Secondly, Weeks had a good first week. Going .276/.364/.448 against tough righties Lincecum, Cain, Harden, Zambrano, Dempster and Volquez. The 2-5 start is discouraging but that is a tough week of matchups for a nearly exclusively right handed lineup.
- Unfortunately, Brewers pitching racked up a brutal 35 BBs to only 45 strikeouts over the first week. That ties them with Toronto for the most walks in MLB, which is simply terrible. The 45 strikeouts are also the 10th worst in all of baseball. Jeff Suppan is obviously terrible, and his contract is going to be a huge hindrance this year and next year. I’ve heard people suggest moving him to the pen and replacing him with Villanueva (if Suppan continues to struggle, and Hoffman returns). I hate this idea. Villanueva’s skillset allows him to come in for high leverage situations in late innings and also go multiple innings. His arm is too important to the bullpen to either return to the rotation or remain tied to the closer role long term which is why we need Hoffman to get healthy. He reportedly threw Monday and felt well and is “on track” for an end of the month return.
- Lastly, shock and horror on Sportscenter this morning as Chien Ming Wang got shelled again last night for the Yankees. The general public thinks this guy is good (19 wins in 2006 and 2007 OMG OMG!) but in reality he has NEVER struck out more than 4.9 per nine innings in a full season. He gets alot of ground balls, but he’s certainly not nearly as good as his back to back 19 win seasons make Sportscenter think he is.